worm turns

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

worm turns

  1. (idiomatic, usually preceded by the) Circumstances change so that a previously disadvantaged party gains the advantage, or vice-versa.
    • 1875, Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins, ch. 12:
      "The poor old Worm turns as if she was treading on him instead of cuddling him like a pussy cat."
    • 1914, E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Vanished Messenger, ch. 22:
      "I've waited on you hand and foot, done dirty work for you, put up with your ill-humours and your tyranny, and never grumbled. But there is a limit! You've made a poor sort of creature of me, but even the worm turns, you know."
    • 2002 April 21, Vicki Vasilopoulos, "Word's Out. New Jersey's In.," New York Times (retrieved 13 Dec 2016):
      "New Jersey used to be the armpit of the universe," Mr. Rockland said. "Well, the worm turns. And I think anything that's down so long eventually is going come up."

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